Today we are asking people to help spread awareness of the value of trees as producers of food in urban areas. What fruit have you grown or gathered within an urban area? What food or drink have you made as a result?
What food in your kitchen has come from a tree? Can you collect together a museum of tree-related items and take a photograph to share?
One of the reasons we need trees in our lives is because they provide a large amount of the food that we eat. We may not think of urban trees as food providers, but if you are thinking of planting trees in your garden or as part of a local community scheme, fruit bearing trees can offer multiple benefits.
‘Tree products have been an important part of diets for thousands of years, from early humans gathering fruits and nuts (there is evidence of humans eating apples in the Neolithic period) to the first cultivation of important trees, such as mango (Mangifera indica) which has been grown in India for over 4,000 years.’
The Orchard Project have information available on the different orchards that exist across London, as well as offering a certificate in community orcharding for free, in exchange for a few days volunteering:
‘Come join our brilliant orcharding course and learn everything you need to know about designing and managing community orchards. You will benefit from our expert team of experienced orchardists who have already helped 75 students gain the Certificate – the equivalent of an A level qualification. The course starts in August 2020 and finishes in July 2021 giving you a wonderful opportunity to learn a wide range of skills required across the various orchard seasons.’
If you decide to get involved in planting a community orchard, or you grow apples on a smaller scale in your own garden or allotment, you might be interested in celebrating apples and apple trees as part of Apple Day:
‘Apple Day, 21 October, was launched in 1990 by Common Ground…The first Apple Day celebrations, in the old Apple Market in London’s Covent Garden, brought fruit to the market after 16 years’ absence. Forty stalls were taken. Fruit growers and nurseries producing and selling a wide variety of apples and trees rubbed shoulders with juice-and cider-makers, as well as writers and illustrators with their apple books.’
Please share your experiences, links and ideas with us using the #ActsOfTreeKindness hashtag on social media.